The Camel Trophy was first held in 1980 and saw a trio of German teams traverse countless miles of the grueling Transamazonica Highway stretching from Belem to Santarem in Brazil. Despite the inaugural running being created as a one-off event, the notoriety and attention that it garnered would ultimately convince Land Rover to get behind the endeavor, tasking its Special Vehicles division with upgrading a host of its models for long-range off-road expeditions. Over the subsequent 43 years since the first event, the vehicles used in various Camel Trophy challenges have become immensely popular with collectors and vintage off-road enthusiasts alike.
While all factory-built Camel Trophy Land Rovers are incredibly sought-after vehicles, a particularly noteworthy specimen has just recently come up for auction. Still in its original condition, this 1997 Land Rover Discovery 300 TDi is reportedly one of only 20 examples built by the factory for the 1997 edition of the event. Boasting 83,453 original kilometers (51,855 miles) on the clock, this Discovery example was campaigned by the Romanian team in the 1997 Mongolia Camel Trophy challenge.
Cloaked in the iconic yellow Camel Trophy livery, the Land Rover has been bestowed with reinforced axles and suspension, a snorkel, a front bumper with an integrated winch, a skid plate, auxiliary lights, and a roof rack. The Discovery also retains the kayak and pair of mountain bikes that originally came with the factory-upgraded SUV. The interior of the vehicle also features a Terratrip, GPS unit, a compass and map reader, seat covers, rubber mats, and a caged rear cargo area with slide-out drawers.
Offered with no reserve price, this 1997 Land Rover Discovery 300 TDi Camel Trophy Mongolie (Chassis No. SALLJGMF8VA537764) is slated to cross the auction block at Artcurial Motorcars’ 2023 Rétromobile Sale on February 3rd where it’s expected to fetch between €30,000 and €50,000 (~ $32,600 and $54,400).